19 May Karen Pryor comes to town….
After Karen Pryor presented at the PABA conference she made her way over to Andre’s school, When Hounds Fly where 10 of us had the good fortune of having dinner with her. To sit down with a pioneer of force-free training is seriously an honor. Even though dinner was delicious, I was so focused on listening to every word Karen was saying it was hard to eat. And when one of the other 10 guests chimed in, and I learned about how that person is making a difference in animals lives -it was very inspiring.
Some of the guests were local KPA (Karen Pryor Academy) graduates. Others, like Emily and I, came to clicker training on our own path and are now teaching classes. But whether it’s working with horses, running chicken camps, studying canine cognition, teaching group classes or competing in dog sports – all of us are committed to training animals based on the science of learning.
Of course the conversation kept going back to the struggles we face as positive trainers up against those that subscribe to dominating dogs, and inducing pain through shock collars and prong collars. It’s so frustrating!!!
Around 50 years ago Karen Pryor discovered that the best way to train dolphins was with operant conditioning. Nothing has changed since then. Her most famous book, Don’t Shoot The Dog was intended to so people could learn to apply the science-based literature to train humans and animals. Now Karen Pryor Academy is teaching students all across North America the principles of clicker training.
Dinner with Karen was a huge success. Thanks to Andre we were all brought together to continue Karen’s mission – to change the world one click at a time.